Tuesday, September 2, 2014

PARIS - Aerial Street Views and the Étoile


From the Arc de Triomphe and the Étoile, the pattern of the streets radiate outward and buildings must adapt. The trimmed chestnut trees lining the boulevards soften the effect until winter comes.


Paris - Streets and Architecture from the Arc de Triomphe by DG Hudson


The Étoile (renamed the Place Charles de Gaulle*) forms the center with the Arc de Triomphe rising majestically above. Architectural conformity creates pie-shaped wedges, altogether a pleasing pattern from above, and not as noticeable at ground level. In the top horizon on the left of the photo above is the hill of Montmartre and the outline of Sacre Coeur.

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The Long View




The straight line effect was intentional to allow a free flow of military parades and were part of the Haussmann plan for fixing some of Paris' major convoluted streets. Georges-Eugène Haussmann, commonly known as Baron Haussmann was appointed by Napoleon III to renovate the older streets. 

Wide boulevards allowed the military good line of sight and eradicated unwanted elements of society along with decaying buildings and impassable winding streets. Originally these accommodated carriages and later vehicles as seen in the images.

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A sense of order





On the left in the image above, you see the stone edges of the Arc de Triomphe top level as I needed to photograph between the restraining bars on the top level of the monument.


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At ground level

Back on the street, this is what it looks as you circle the Arc de Triomphe on left. Round and round they go, with up to ten lanes of determined drivers. This is an orderly version shown below. (One driver told us, you must be somewhat aggressive, and pretend you don't see the other drivers. That sounds like a lot of places. . .)






NotePlace Charles de Gaulle came into existence as the Étoile, translated as 'Square of the Star' and includes the Champs-Élysées. It was renamed in 1970 after the death of General and President Charles de Gaulle. It is still referred to by many using it's original name, and a nearby metro station shows 'Charles de Gaulle - Étoile'. The historical axis of the monuments (Axe historique) cuts through the center of the Arc de Triomphe.


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Do you like aerial views? Are you interested in the layout of various cities, and how architecture can emphasize the design? Would you climb the 300 plus steps to get to the top for these views?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and I'll respond. Thanks for dropping by!

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References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Place_Charles_de_Gaulle Place Charles de Gaulle or Étoile

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges-Eug%C3%A8ne_Haussmann Details on Haussmann

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15 comments:

  1. I sure wish we'd been told you could go up in the Arc on that high school trip I went on. The day before we left we had a free afternoon. Some went to the Jim Morrison cemetery, others like us just wandered around close to the hotel, which was extremely close to the Arc. It might even be in one of those photos if I could remember the name of it. I would love to have gone up in it. The Eiffel Tower was closed so we didn't get to go up there either.

    I have come to realize that my fear of heights takes a backseat to my desire for good aerial photos.

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    1. There is an elevator for those who can't walk up, but of course I wanted to climb up not knowing there were 300+ steps. My legs felt like rubber by the top and I was at the front so couldn't stop. Next to tackle: Notre Dame at 400 steps. . .I'm a fan of aerial views too, JoJo!

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  2. Three hundred steps? I can hardly get to Willy Dunne Wooters third floor apartment. The views are beautiful, though, and I love the photos.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Yes, just so you know, we had done some practice walking for a few weeks prior to our trip, to strengthen our legs. But the thing is not to be first. There was no where to duck out of line.

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  3. I do like the view from above. And the way (in season) the trees soften those hard edges.
    My days for stair climbing are over - but I like to think/hope I would have tried in the day.

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    1. I bet you would have, too, EC. I can get my bearings better when I see the layout from above. The Eiffel I didn't climb, I took the tram elevator up.

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  4. I like seeing aerial views. It's cool to see the sprawl of the city and those long straight streets. Kind of like L.A. with older buildings.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote

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    1. Talk about sprawl - LA has that, Atlanta does too. Paris tries to keep out most tall buildings (they would spoil the view). Our city Vancouver keeps approving the ugly tall buildings too.

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    2. To qualify that - I don't mind tall monuments, I dislike highrise residential or office buildings in Vancouver or elsewhere.

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  5. I love Paris, from any vantage! Beautiful! We found a show on television that's all about the aerial view and we enjoy them. Love the patterns you find in city layouts. And yes 300 steps, well, back in the day. LOL

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    1. For some reason, I orient better to a place if I can see the layout from an aerial view. I agree, Paris is a delight in many ways.

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  6. Such a fabulous view! I love seeing life from high up, You end up seeing so much more!

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    1. The bird's eye view as opposed to the ant's eye view. It's why I prefer a varying landscape, as opposed to a flatter one.

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  7. Architecture and city layouts are a form of art in themselves, though sometimes intended that way and others not.

    300 steps? May all who climb such keep the excellent health and determination to do so! The climb in itself is as rewarding as the view. I am reminded of my climbing Mount Vesuvius. I have a fascination with volcanoes, though. When my dad took me to see New York City, I chose the helicopter views of the Statue of Liberty over going to the island to climb her.

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    1. I'm impressed if you climbed Mt. Vesuvius, and got a helicopter view of Liberty!

      In the layout around the Arc de Triomphe, I think that layout (like the spokes of a wheel) existed for a long time, as several streets ended there.

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